I’m sure that you have heard about restrictions on public gatherings for the time being.
Archbishop Glenn Davies has sent a letter today to every church in the Sydney Anglican Diocese to suspend all public church gatherings. This follows on from the Prime Minister and NSW Health Minister’s order to cancel all public gatherings of more than 100 people (which may be lowered further).
This means that Oak Flats Anglican will suspend Sunday services, Kid’s Club, Andy’s Club, Refuge Youth Group, and other gatherings in the church building.
In regards to Mobile Community Pantry, we will speak to Anglicare about whether certain changes may enable it to continue – e.g. pre-packing boxes.
Although we will not be meeting all together as a whole church family, we can still encourage one another regularly by meeting in small groups in our homes and online.
We will livestream the service on Sunday morning at 9:30am. Go to livestream.oakflatsanglican.com to view the service. It will be recorded, so you can watch it later if need be. A good idea would be to invite everyone in your house to watch it at the same time.
Bible study groups
If Bible study groups wish to meet, they may. Social distancing recommendations are to meet in a large space with 1.5m distance between people. Do not meet if you are sick or a person at risk.
Some Bible study groups already have Facebook groups where prayer points are shared, and readings and studies could be distributed. Groups may also like to read the Bible, discuss and pray using video conference software. Skype allows free group video chats for up to 50 people. Another group video chat option is the Zoom app.
If you are in a Bible study group, please be in contact with your leader and others in the group about how you are going and how to pray for one another during the week.
If you are not in a Bible study group, it would be good to choose a friend you can call and be in contact with during the week to chat about life, to read the Bible and pray together on the phone or via other means. Please let Val know if there is someone you have agreed to do this with.
If you are looking for someone who might be able to connect with you in this way, please let Val know.
Many expenses for the church continue, even though we will not be meeting in person as usual. If you haven’t yet moved to giving via direct debit, now could be a great time to set it up. See details here: oakflatsanglican.com/give
If you wish to continue giving via the ‘plate’, I recommend what Paul suggests in 1 Corinthians 16:2 to set aside a sum of money each week for later collection.
I want to finish with a simple encouragement from the Scriptures. Isaiah 40:28-31 reminds us that God is always with us, therefore we can have hope during this challenging time that he will give us strength. Through drought, bushfire, plague and whatever else we may see in our lives let us remember that our Lord is God: creator, sustainer and redeemer to the ends of the earth.
Pray that he would stop the spread of the virus, that we would display the love of Christ, and that somehow people would come to know Christ through this.